Ship in Cebu pier accident held till repairs, inspection complete

CEBU CITY, Philippines –The "fastcraft" vessel MV St. Sealthiel which rammed into the port early Tuesday, March 10, will not be allowed to sail momentarily after the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) canceled its "ship safety certificate" this afternoon.

"After the rectification of its deficiency, Marina will again conduct an inspection and if satisfied, then suspension will be lifted by MARINA itself," said Cmdr. Rodolfo Villajuan, Philippine Coast Guard Cebu Station Chief.

A total of 20 people were injured when the passenger ship hit the concrete port at pier 1 while it was maneuvering to dock around 8:20 a.m. The injured numbered 17 passengers and 3 crew members .

Speaking with radio dyLA in an interview, MARINA spokesperson Jose Cabatingan said the vessel cannot sail – effective immediately – because of the accident. Repairs had to be made on the ship.

"As a consequence, the vessel cannot be given clearance to sail until satisfactory result of inspection," Cabatingan added.

In a statement issued by 2GO Shipping, owner of the Supercat fastcraft line, most of the injured persons were already out of the hospital except for a few who still needed further check up.

Supercat Gen. Manager Angelito Salvio said that they will shoulder all hospital expenses of those that were injured. He said that all 106 passengers and 8 crewmen safely disembarked from the vessel following the accident.

"Supercat vessel ST. Sealthiel experienced manuevering control failure this morning...," the statement read.

The vessel's front or bow is visibly deformed because of the impact when it hit the concrete piers. The fastcraft came from Tagbilaran City carrying a total of 113 passengers and 11 crewmen. It has a capacity of 314 passengers. –